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Meanwhile in the Middle East

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The sound of gunfire and explosions from fighting between Hamas and Fatah rang out for the sixth straight day in Gaza. Outside the Islamic University — a Hamas stronghold — one person was wounded from the exchange of fire, but it was not immediately known from which side.

The fighting largely died down later in the day after Fatah and Hamas fighters took up positions around the university. Earlier, the office of the university's president, Kamelen Shaath, was attacked by rocket-propelled grenades, according to Hamas.

Shaath appealed for an immediate halt to the violence.

"Universities must be outside the circle of violence and I appeal to the president and all the wise people on both sides to try and spare the university the agony of this fight," he said.

In six days of mayhem, 47 Palestinians have died in infighting and another 17 were killed by Israeli strikes. The latest casualty was a 40-year-old Palestinian fisherman named Samir Amodi, who was shot in the head by a sniper in Gaza City's harbor.

The intensity of Palestinian street battles has waned since a peak two days ago. But the latest cease-fire was not holding. Shots rang out in many areas, and gunmen who had promised to withdraw from the streets were still manning roadblocks and positions on rooftops.

"Our retaliation for (Fatah's) crimes is going to be beyond their imagination," Abu Obeida, spokesman for Hamas's military wing, told The Associated Press.

Gen. Jamal Kayed, Fatah's security commander in Gaza, said his group had already begun implementing the cease-fire but claimed Hamas was not willing to follow suit.

Walid al-Awad, a member of a committee set up to implement the cease-fire, said his team worked late into the night to get the sides to withdraw, but to no avail.

"Nothing has been implemented, and I have warned both sides that this a time bomb that is sabotaging our efforts," al-Awad said.

The fighting between Hamas and Fatah has all but destroyed their two-month-old power-sharing deal and brought them close to all-out civil war.

By most accounts, Hamas' performance in the latest round of internal fighting has been superior to Fatah's, with greater discipline and more motivated fighters.

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